Definitions for prefaceˈprɛf ɪs

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word preface

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pref•ace*ˈprɛf ɪs(n.; v.)-aced, -ac•ing.

  1. (n.)a preliminary statement in a book by the author or editor, setting forth the book's purpose, acknowledging the assistance of others, etc.

  2. an introductory part, as of a speech.

  3. a preliminary or introductory event, circumstance, etc.

  4. a prayer of thanksgiving, the introduction to the canon of the Mass, ending with the Sanctus.

    Category: Religion

  5. (v.t.)to provide with or introduce by a preface.

  6. to serve as a preface to.

* Syn: See introduction.

Origin of preface:

1350–1400; ME < MF < ML prēfātia, for L praefātiō=praefā(rī) to say beforehand (see pre -, fate ) +-tiō -tion


Princeton's WordNet

  1. foreword, preface, prolusion(verb)

    a short introductory essay preceding the text of a book

  2. precede, preface, premise, introduce(verb)

    furnish with a preface or introduction

    "She always precedes her lectures with a joke"; "He prefaced his lecture with a critical remark about the institution"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. preface(noun)ˈprɛf ɪs

    a short piece of writing that introduces a book

    a preface by the author


  1. preface(Noun)

    The beginning or introductory portion that comes before the main text of a document or book.

    The book included a brief preface by a leading expert in the field.

  2. preface(Verb)

    To introduce or make a comment before the main point.

    Let me preface this by saying that I don't know him that well.

  3. Preface(Noun)

    The part of the liturgy that precedes the main part of the Eucharist

    The book included a brief preface by a leading expert in the field.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Preface(noun)

    something spoken as introductory to a discourse, or written as introductory to a book or essay; a proem; an introduction, or series of preliminary remarks

  2. Preface(noun)

    the prelude or introduction to the canon of the Mass

  3. Preface(verb)

    to introduce by a preface; to give a preface to; as, to preface a book discourse

  4. Preface(verb)

    to make a preface


  1. Preface

    A preface is an introduction to a book or other literary work written by the work's author. An introductory essay written by a different person is a foreword and precedes an author's preface. The preface often closes with acknowledgements of those who assisted in the literary work. A preface generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or how the idea for the book was developed; this is often followed by thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the time of writing. A preface is usually signed; a foreword by another person is always signed. Information essential to the main text is generally placed in a set of explanatory notes, or perhaps in an "Introduction" that may be paginated with Arabic numerals, rather than in the preface. The term preface can also mean any preliminary or introductory statement. It is sometimes abbreviated pref. Preface comes from the Latin, meaning either "spoken before" or "made before". While the former source of the word could have preface meaning the same as prologue, the latter strongly implies an introduction written before the body of the book. With this meaning of stated intention, British publishing up to at least the middle of the twentieth century distinguished between preface and introduction.

Translations for preface

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


an introduction to a book etc

The preface explained how to use the dictionary.

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